Central America Defends Panama And Nicaragua Against The European Union For a New Gray List

The Central American Integration System (SICA) asked the European Union (EU) on Friday to appeal “to solidarity and cooperation” before the initiative to include Panama and Nicaragua in a “gray list” of countries with deficiencies against money laundering and financing of terrorism.

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In a joint statement, the region’s foreign ministers demanded that the EU “evaluate this decision” in light of the current situation in the region due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as these lists have “adverse effects” that may limit access. from countries to international funds.

The crisis by COVID-19 raises the “need to seek financial resources to continue facing the health emergency and, for the stage of economic recovery,” stressed SICA.

In the joint statement, SICA “reiterates the commitment to work hard in an articulated and coordinated way to have a transparent financial system and fight against money laundering and terrorist financing.”

Last May the European Commission (EC) included Panama and Nicaragua, along with other countries, in its list of third countries with deficiencies in their strategies against money laundering and terrorist financing.

Panama rejected its new inclusion in this list as “inconsistent, arbitrary and untimely”, which does not imply the application of sanctions, restrictions in trade relations or the inability to access development aid, and which will enter into force on October 1 .

Panama had already been included last February in a list of the Community Executive of countries that could facilitate the laundering and financing of terrorism, but the EU States rejected it, considering that its preparation was not transparent and was not maintained sufficiently communication with the nations included.

And this list by the European Commission is different from the one drawn up by the EU Council on tax havens, in which Panama is also included right now.

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